• Initiative hawker Tim Eyman crashed a press conference held by opponents of his anti-tolling, anti-light rail Initiative 1125 yesterday, turning the news conference into a debate on the initiative.
According to the Yakima Herald, Eyman "showed up at the news conference blazing with talking points," arguing that 1125 would "make the process of implementing tolls more democratic and keeps the government from continuing to toll after the debt is repaid on a project."
Opponents of the measure, including two former state transportation secretaries, argued that requiring the legislature to set tolls would politicize the tolling process and harm investor confidence in toll-financed projects in the future.
• Andrew Villaneuve at the Northwest Progressive Institute has a good scoop on 1125 today: Many of the companies that supported Eyman's most recent initiative, I-1053, are big contributors to the anti-1125 campaign.
(While 1053 is best known for mandating a two-thirds vote of the legislature to raise taxes, it also set the the stage for 1125. Originally, 1053 made the legislature responsible for raising fees. However, AG Rob McKenna ruled that the initiative couldn't bar the legislature from delegating tolling authority to the state transportation commission, which they subsequently did. That prompted Eyman to file 1125).
Now, Villeneuve reports on his lefty blog that Weyerhauser, which gave $5,000 to the pro-1053 campaign in 2010, has given $25,000 to the Keep Washington Rolling (no on 1125) campaign; Port Blakely Tree Farm, which gave $15,000 to the pro-1053 campaign in 2010, gave $10,000 to the anti-1125 campaign; and Green Diamond Resource Company, which gave $21,000 to the pro-1053 campaign, gave $10,000 to the anti- 1125 campaign this year.
• As we mentioned in Fizz this morning, the campaign for Proposition 1---a proposed $60 car tab fee that would pay for transportation improvements in Seattle---announced another endorsement today, not from the sort of lefty environmental group you'd expect to support a fee for bikes, sidewalks, and transit, but from Puget Sound Sage, a nonprofit that advocates for low-income people. "Sage is proud to join with labor unions and low-income advocates in supporting Prop. 1 because it supports family wage jobs and begins to reorient transportation funding to meet the needs of low-income underserved communities,” Sage program director Rebecca Saldana said this morning.
• Maurice Classen, who ran unsuccessfully in the four-way primary against council incumbent Jean Godden, remained more than $13,000 in debt as of the end of August, according to campaign finance reports filed yesterday. As we've reported, Classen has contributed nearly $39,000 to his own campaign.
Contacted last week, Classen would not say whether he plans to endorse Godden or her opponent, SDOT manager Bobby Forch.